Happy Boy Produce

SEASON: Year-round

 

KEEP YOUR GREENS FRESH:
Rewashing our salad can shorten its shelf life, as any water left over starts spoiling the leaves. Putting a dry paper towel into your bag or spinner of greens can help absorb water, and keeping the bags sealed with an amount of air in them also keeps the greens from getting clumped, squished and water-logged.

Romaine

we heart this lettuce

Posted by Tent

While our romaine might be the most recognizable and common salad variety we harvest, our growing practices, seed variety and field locations all factor into producing one darn tasty head of lettuce. I'll usually recommend romaine to folks looking for iceberg since it has a similar taste and texture, but with larger leaves, a more complex, robust flavor profile and, I believe, a much more satisfying crunch. And, since conventional iceberg and romaine are some of the most heavily sprayed crops out there, buying organic really counts here.

I remember eating Italian salads as a kid and always dreading the unpleasantly bitter romaine stems, but now I dig into the whole head without abandon, often using the huge leaves to dip into hummus, salsa and, yes, ranch. It's organic ranch, I promise. Harvesting the romaine before it grows too large and bolts, and also protecting it a bit from the sun in our coastal fields, helps cut the bitterness just enough to make a killer Caesar salad. On that note: I recently discovered that romaine is called romaine because the variety dates back to actual Roman times. I like to imagine a Roman Emperor savoring a Caesar salad during a Gladiator match, but apparently that is not "historically accurate" because, according to most accounts, Caesar salad is not named after Emperor Caesar, but Caesar Cardini, a chef who created the salad in the 1920's.

But don't stop with Caesar salad. Romaine leaves are great dippers, wrappers and as added crunch in sandwiches and burgers. You can also skip the meat entirely and actually grill the whole head of lettuce itself. Before this past summer I scoffed at the suggestion, but then I finally tried it and found the whole experience almost magical - I was using a fork and knife to cut into a crispy, browned head of lettuce that tasted like a piece of juicy steak. Alone, romaine is great with creamy dressings as well as vinaigrettes, and can also stand up to powerfully flavored ingredient pairings like pickled foods, mint, olives and saltier fish, meats and cheeses.

Storage

Keeping our salad cold and preventing excess moisture build-up is the key to extending its crisp freshness. Try to put it in the fridge as soon as possible.

Nutrition

Romaine is very low in calories and is a good source of vitamins A, C and K.

Recipes and Pairings

    1 Total Recipes

Our romaine make truly superb Caesar and Greek salads! It also pairs well with stronger-flavored ingredients and creamier dressings. If you want to skip the bread, it works great for wrapping sandwich ingredients and is excellent any time you want a satisfyingly crisp lettuce.